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U.S. Soccer Wire: U.S. Men Prep for Honduras


USA-HONDURAS LIVE ON FOX SPORTS WORLD ON WEDNESDAY: The U.S. Men’s National Team will take the field for their last tune-up match before World Cup qualifying begins when they face Honduras on Wednesday evening (June 2) at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass. The game kicks off at 7:30 p.m. ET and will be televised live on Fox Sports World and HDNet, and will also be broadcast via tape delay at 11:30 p.m. ET/PT on Telemundo. Fans can also follow the match live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics. (Wednesday's edition of MatchTracker will include running guest commentary from former U.S. assistant coach and current Chicago Fire head coach Dave Sarachan.) The U.S. begins qualifying play with a two-game series against Grenada that begins on June 13 in Columbus and concludes on the road on June 20. The European-based players on the 18-player MNT roster arrived in the Boston area on Friday (May 28), while the MLS players reported for training on Sunday. The last player to join the camp was goalkeeper Jonny Walker, who arrived on Monday, one day after earning his first MLS shutout of the year in a 1-0 win over Kansas City.

U.S. MNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Tim Howard (Manchester United), Jonny Walker (MetroStars); DEFENDERS (7): Carlos Bocanegra (Fulham FC), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Bobby Convey (D.C. United), Cory Gibbs (Dallas Burn), Pablo Mastroeni (Colorado Rapids), Tony Sanneh (FC Nürnberg), Greg Vanney (FC Bastia); MIDFIELDERS (6): Chris Armas (Chicago Fire), DaMarcus Beasley (Chicago Fire), Landon Donovan (San Jose Earthquakes), Eddie Lewis (Preston North End), Claudio Reyna (Manchester City), Earnie Stewart (D.C. United); FORWARDS (3): Conor Casey (Karlsruhe), Clint Mathis (Hannover 96), Brian McBride (Fulham FC).

REYNA TO JOIN SIX OTHERS IN U.S. MNT 100 CAP CLUB: When U.S. Men's National Team captain Claudio Reyna plays in his 100th international game on Wednesday night against Honduras in Foxboro, Mass., he will join six other MNT players in the exclusive 100 Cap Club. The 30-year-old Reyna began his national team career in 1994 and has been a part of three World Cup teams and two Olympic squads. In 2002 he was the first American MNT player to be named to FIFA's All World Cup First Team. Below is a list of the other MNT players and how they earned their 100th caps.

MNT 100 CAP CLUB
Player                  Date                 Opponent (Result)        Overview                                
Marcelo Balboa    June 11, 1995    Nigeria (3-2 W)             Scored goal in 3-2 U.S. Cup victory
Paul Caliguiri       July 14, 1995      Argentina (3-0 W)         Historic 3-0 upset win in 1995 Copa America
Cobi Jones           Feb. 19, 1998    Brazil (1-0 W)               Only U.S. victory over Brazil comes in Gold Cup
Eric Wynalda       June 15, 1998    Germany (1-2 L)            Opening game of the 1998 World Cup in France
Jeff Agoos            June 3, 2000      South Africa (4-0 W)     RFK hosts only U.S. game vs. South Africa
Joe-Max Moore    June 14, 2002     Poland (1-3 L)               First round 2002 World Cup game in Korea
Claudio Reyna     June 2, 2004       Honduras                      Final match before 2006 World Cup qualifying begins

U.S. WOMEN TAKE ON JAPAN ON SUNDAY ON ESPN2: The U.S. Women's National Team will continue their Olympic preparation on Sunday with a match-up against Japan at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium in Louisville, Ky. The game will kick off at 4 p.m. ET and will be televised live on ESPN2. The U.S. is 12-1-1 in 2004, having picked up tournament victories this year in China, Costa Rica and Portugal, and will be playing three matches after this one before representing the USA at the 2004 Olympics in Greece. Mia Hamm currently sits on 149 career international goals and will be looking to become the first player in international soccer history to hit 150 goals with her next tally. The roster for the match in Louisville will be announced on ussoccer.com by head coach April Heinrichs on Wednesday or Thursday of this week, and the team will arrive in Kentucky on Friday. The U.S. is 13-0-2 in 15 all-time meetings against Japan.

U-19 WNT ONE SEMIFINAL WIN FROM BERTH IN 2004 FIFA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: The U.S. Under-19 Women’s National Team secured a spot in the semifinals of the 2004 CONCACAF U-19 Qualifying Tournament with victories over the weekend against the Dominican Republic (14-0) and Trinidad & Tobago (11-1) during their first two matches in Group B play. Kerri Hanks notched hat tricks in both games and is the team's scoring leader, while Kia McNeill (4 goals), Megan Rapinoe (3), Rachel Buehler (2), Yael Averbuch (2) and Bristyn Davis (2) have all added multiple goals through the first two matches. The semifinal teams are all set as Costa Rica also advanced out of Group B, while Canada and Mexico secured berths in Group A. The semifinal groupings will be determined on Tuesday (June 1) as the U.S. takes on Costa Rica at 7 p.m. ET at McGill University Molson Stadium in Montreal and Canada and Mexico go head-to-head at the same time at Frank Clair Stadium in Ottawa. The USA only needs a win or a tie to win the group. The winner of Group A will play the runner-up of Group B, and vice versa. Fans can follow the USA's matches live on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics. The semifinal winners qualify for the 2004 FIFA U-19 World Championship in Thailand from Nov. 10-27.

U.S. U-19 WNT Results
Date        Opponent                   Result    U.S. Goal Scorers              
May 28    Dominican Republic    14-0       Kia McNeill (4), Kerri Hanks (3), Megan Rapinoe (2), Stephanie Kron,
                                                             Yael Averbuch, Rachel Buehler, Alexa Orand, Stacy Lindstrom
May 30    Trinidad & Tobago       11-1       Kerri Hanks (3), Bristyn Davis (2), Yael Averbuch, Angie Woznuk,
                                                              Rachel Buehler, Megan Rapinoe

U.S. U-19 WNT Schedule
Date        Opponent                 Venue                                     Kickoff      
June 1     Costa Rica               McGill Univ. Molson Stadium    7 p.m. ET
June 4     Semifinals*               McGill Univ. Molson Stadium    5:30/8 p.m. ET
June 6     Third Place/Final*     Frank Clair Stadium                  10 a.m./1 p.m. ET


– U.S. MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE –

U.S. BEGINS WORLD CUP QUALIFYING ON JUNE 13 IN COLUMBUS: The U.S. begins qualifying play for the 2006 World Cup on June 13 at Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio in the first of a two-game preliminary round series. The match kicks off at 1 p.m. ET (live on ESPN2 and Telemundo) and will conclude in St. George's, Grenada on June 20 (live on ESPN2 & Telemundo at 4 p.m. ET). The winner of the total goals series will advance to the four-team, six-game semifinal round which would begin for the U.S. on Aug. 18 in either Jamaica or Haiti. Single-game tickets for the Columbus qualifier are on sale now with tickets ranging from $25-$65. Tickets are available at all local Ticketmaster outlets (including all Kroger stores), online at ussoccer.com or by phone at 614-431-3600.

2004 U.S. MNT Schedule
Date        Opponent                      Venue                                             Kickoff/TV          
June 2     Honduras                       Gillette Stadium; Foxboro, Mass.   7:30 p.m. ET / FSW  (live) & Telemundo (11:30 p.m. ET/PT)
June 13   Grenada                         Crew Stadium; Columbus, Ohio     1 p.m. ET / ESPN2 & Telemundo
June 20   Grenada                         St. George's, Grenada                  4 p.m. ET / ESPN2 & Telemundo
July 11     Poland                          Soldier Field; Chicago                   6 p.m. CT / ESPN2
Aug. 18    Jamaica or Haiti *              TBD (away)                               TBD
Sept. 4    El Salvador or Bermuda *    Gillette Stadium; Foxboro, Mass    TBD
Sept. 8    Panama or St. Lucia *        TBD (away)                                   TBD
Oct. 10    El Salvador or Bermuda *   TBD (away)                                   TBD
Oct. 13    Panama or St. Lucia *       TBD (United States)                       TBD
Nov. 17    Jamaica or Haiti *              Crew Stadium; Columbus, Ohio      TBD
* Should the U.S. advance past Grenada to the semifinal round

– U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE –

U.S. WOMEN’S “QUEST FOR SUMMER GLORY” TOUR SET THROUGH AUG. 1 SEND-OFF: The next stop on the U.S. Women's National Team’s “Quest for Summer Glory” Tour is in Louisville, Ky., where they’ll meet Japan at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium at 4 p.m. ET (live on ESPN2). Tickets for USA-Japan range in price levels from $18 to $45 and are on sale now at all area Ticketmaster outlets (including Kroger’s stores), as well as the University of Louisville athletic ticket office in the Student Activities Center (open Mon. through Fri. from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.). Tickets can also be ordered by phone at 502-361-3100 (Louisville) or 859-281-6644 (Lexington) and online at ussoccer.com. The USA also has matches on July 3 vs. Canada in Nashville, Tenn. (7 p.m. CT on ESPN), July 21 vs. Australia in Blaine, Minn. (6 p.m. CT on ESPN2), and an Olympic send-off match on Aug. 1 in Hartford, Conn., against China (3 p.m. ET on ESPN2). Ticket information for the final three matches is available online in the Tickets section of ussoccer.com. The U.S. began the tour with an impressive 5-1 win over Brazil in Birmingham, Ala., with 2004 leading scorer Abby Wambach pumping in a pair of goals and Mia Hamm providing a goal and three assists in the win. The U.S. improved to 12-1-1 on the year and 13-0-0 all-time against Mexico with a 3-0 win in front of almost 18,000 fans in its second domestic match.

U.S. WNT “Quest for Summer Glory” Tour
Results
Date        Opponent    Result    U.S. Goal Scorers                                  Attendance
April 24    Brazil         5-1 W    Foudy, Wambach (2), Welsh, Hamm        11,527
May 9      Mexico       3-0 W    Parlow, Hamm, Chalupny                        17,805

Schedule
Date        Opponent     Venue; City                                                Kickoff (Local) / TV
June 6    Japan            Cardinal Stadium; Louisville, Ky.                  4 p.m. ET / ESPN2
July 3      Canada        The Coliseum; Nashville, Tenn.                     7 p.m. CT / ESPN
July 21    Australia      National Sports Center; Blaine, Minn.            6 p.m. CT / ESPN2
Aug. 1     China           Rentschler Field; Hartford, Conn.                  3 p.m. ET / ESPN2

– U.S. YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS UPDATE –

U.S. U-21 WOMEN GO 2-1-1 IN BRAZIL, INCLUDING TIE WITH BRAZIL OLYMPIC TEAM: The U.S. Under-21 Women's National Team completed a successful four-game tour of Brazil on Saturday (May 29) with a 2-1 loss to the Brazilian Olympic Team, the only set-back of the tour for the young U.S. team. The only two teams the U.S. U-21s have lost to in 2004 have been the Brazilian and U.S. Olympic Teams as U.S. head coach Chris Petrucelli's squad has compiled a 7-2-2 record so far. The USA opened the tour on May 23 with a convicing 4-0 victory over an all-star team from Sao Paulo, connecting on goals form Natasha Kai, Tara Hurless, Nikki Thaden and U-21 veteran Joanna Lohman. One day later, the U.S. scrapped out a 3-2 win over a Brazilian League All-Star Team as Kai, a Univeristy of Hawaii star, scored the winning goal. Lohman and Huffman also tallied for the USA. The U.S. U-21s then faced the Athens-bound Brazilian Olympic Team in two highly competitive matches, earning a 0-0 tie on May 27 before losing the final game. University of Stanford goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart picked up the shutout against Brazil. Kai also scored in the 2-1 loss, giving her three goals for the tour and a team-leading seven on the year. Lohman upped her total in 2004 to five goals, Huffman's score against the All-Star was her second with the U-21s while the goals for Thaden and Hurless were their first ever at the U-21 level. All the matches were played in the city of Agua de Lindoia in the state of Sao Paulo. The U-21s will continue their preparations for the 2004 Nordic Cup, this year to be held in Iceland at the end of July, with a training camp at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., from June 21-30. This tour marks the second year in a row that the U-21s have traveled to Brazil, after winning just one of four games in last year's visit.

U-21 WNT Brazil Tour – Results
Date             Opponent                   Result    U.S. Goal Scorer
May 23        Paulistana Selection    4-0 W    Kai, Hurless, Thaden, Lohman
May 26        League All Star Team    3-2 W    Kai, Lohman, Huffman
May 28        Brazil WNT                    0-0 T    ---
May 29        Brazil WNT                   1-2 L    Kai

U.S. UNDER-20s TO TAKE ON BRAZIL IN FT. LAUDERDALE ON JUNE 16: The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team will play defending Under-20 FIFA World Champion Brazil at 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday, June 16, at Lockhart Stadium in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. It will be the second match at Lockhart Stadium for the U.S. Under-20s in two months after they defeated Haiti Select, 1-0, on April 21, behind a 20-yard strike from Craig Capano in the second half. Advance tickets for the June 16 match are $20 for adults and $10 for kids under the age of 12 and are on sale now by calling Complete Ticket Solutions at 1-877-877-7677 or online at www.tixops.com. For groups of 25 or more, there is a $2 discount per ticket. Tickets are also available online at: http://www.ticketfusion.com/store/one/index.html?store_id=1718&master_store_id=1718&page_type=ticket&show_id=102016&cid=957098. coach Thomas Rongen has yet to name the roster for the match, but it will most likely be similar to the roster he named two months ago, as he continues to sort through the U.S. U-20 player pool in preparation for the CONCACAF U-20 World Youth Championship qualifying tournament in January 2005.

U.S. U-18 MNT CONCLUDE ARGENTINA TOUR: The U.S. Under-18 Men's National Team fell to the Argentina U-18 Men's National Team 2-1 in Buenos Aires on May 26, but bounced back in their next game against the U-20 Boca Juniors, snagging a come-from-behind tie against the top Argentinian club. Forward Charlie Davies scored both goals for the U.S., netting an early goal off a miss-hit by the Argentinian goalkeeper in their first match before Argentina roared back in the second half with two goals in three minutes, and found the back of the net again against Boca Juniors by finishing a cross from Rich Costanzo to give the U.S. the equalizer. Bob Jenkins' squad finished their tour on Monday with a match against River Plate.

U.S. U-18 MNT Results / Schedule
Date        Opponent               Result     U.S. Goal Scorers
May 26    Argentina U-18       1-2 L    Charlie Davies
May 28    Boca Juniors U-20  1-1 T    Charlie Davies
May 31    River Plate             2-3 L    Nathan Sturgis, u/a

U-18 MNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Marcus Rein (Modesto, Calif.), Steve Sandbo (Columbus, Ohio); DEFENDERS (6): Greg Folk (Woodland Hills, Calif.), Mike Orozco (Stanton, Calif.), Karl Schilling (Canton, Conn.), Kwame Siriboe (Chino Hills, Calif.), Nathan Sturgis (St. Augustine, Fla.), Julian Valentin (Lancaster, Pa.); MIDFIELDERS (5): Michael Bradley (MetroStars), Drew Harrison (University of Virginia), Christian Jimenez (San Dimas, Calif.), Dax McCarty (Maitland, Fla.), Danny Szetela (Clifton, N.J), FORWARDS (5): Ely Allen (Kent, Wash.), Rich Costanzo (Jefferson Hills, Pa.), Charlie Davies (Manchester, N.H.), Mike Grella (Glen Cove, N.Y.), Rodrigo Hidalgo (Atlantis, Fla.).

U-17 MNT LOSE FIRST OF FOUR MATCHES DURING HDC CAMP: The U.S. Under-17 '88 Men's National Team fell to the three-year older U-19 Irvine Strikers on Saturday (May 29) in the first of four matches they will play during their weeklong training camp at U.S. Soccer's National Training Center at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The ‘88s will have a rematch with the Irvine Strikers on Tuesday (June 1), before facing the BlueStars on June 2 and PDP U-18 All-Stars (AEG’s new player development team) on June 3.

U-17 ’88 MNT Results / Schedule
Date       Opponent                      Result     U.S. Goal Scorers
May 29    Irvine Strikers                0-4 L      ---
June 1     Irvine Strikers
June 2     BlueStars
June 3     PDP U-18 All-Stars

U-17 ’88 MNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Evan Newton (Virginia Beach, Va.), Bryant Rueckner (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.); DEFENDERS (7): Michael Balogun (Houston, Texas), Carlos Borja (Anaheim, Calif.), Richard Edgar (Mechanicsville, Md.), Jeremy Hall (Tampa, Fla.), Eric Lichaj (Downers Grove, Ill.), Ofori Sarkodie (Huber Heights, Ohio), Taylor Waspi (Deer Park, Ill.); MIDFIELDERS (8): Kevin Alston (Silver Spring, Md.), Nicolas Besagno (Maple Valley, Wash.), Michael Dal Pra (Bronxville, N.Y.), Gabriel Farfan (San Diego, Calif.), Michael Farfan (San Diego, Calif.), Cameron Jordan (Ft. Wayne, Ind.), Kyle Nakazawa (Palos Verdes East, Calif.), Ryan Soroka (Langhorne, Pa.); FORWARDS (4): Amaechi Igwe (Belmont, Calif.), Quavas Kirk (Aurora, Ill.), Michael Stephens (Woodridge, Ill.), Preston Zimmerman (Pasco, Wash.).

– LAMAR HUNT U.S. OPEN CUP UPDATE –

FINAL TWO TEAMS QUALIFY FOR OPEN CUP, FIRST ROUND BEGINS WEDNESDAY: With the final two teams from the USASA qualifying for the U.S. Open Cup on Memorial Day, the first and second round pairings for the 2004 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup are now complete. In the first round, eight regional qualifiers from the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA) will face eight clubs from the United Soccer Leagues’ Premier Development League (PDL) on June 2 and 8. In the second round, six teams from the Pro Soccer League (PSL) and the A-League’s Syracuse Salty Dogs and Virginia Beach Mariners join the mix for matches on June 15. Legends FC and Azzurri, both of Dallas, were semifinalists in the Region III tournament held last weekend. The June 2 match date will feature six games coast-to-coast. In the east, the N.Y. Greek American-Atlas will host the Cape Cod Crusaders at St. John's University in Queens. Also on the East Coast, the South Jersey Barons will host Allied S.C. and the Carolina Dynamo will host the Milwaukee Bavarians. Moving west, the Chicago Fire Reserves will face S.A.C. Wisla in a Chicago derby. Including the MLS Chicago Fire, which will enter the Open Cup in the fourth round, the Reserves and Wisla bring the total number of teams in the city to three. The opening match day concludes on the West Coast as the Boulder Rapids Reserve travel to play the Chico Rooks, and the Sacramento Knights head north to face the Spokane Shadow. The first round concludes on June 8 with the DFW Tornadoes hosting Legends FC and the Cocoa Expos hosting Azzurri. Geographical pairings and host proposals received from each club determined match-ups, as they will through the quarterfinals of the tournament. Possible pairings for the third round will be announced after the completion of the first round. Visit the competitions section of ussoccer.com for more information.

2004 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Schedule
First Round
#  Date      Teams                                                                                Venue; City – Kickoff                 
1  June 2    Boulder Rapids Reserve (PDL) at Chico Rooks (USASA)     Rooks Stad., CSU Chico Campus; Chico, Ca. - 7:30 p.m. PT
2  June 2    Sacramento Knights (USASA) at Spokane Shadow (PDL)             Joe Albi Stadium; Spokane, Wash. - 7:05 p.m. PT
3  June 2    Allied S.C. of Baltimore (USASA) at South Jersey Barons (PDL)    Winslow High School; Tansboro, N.J. - 6 p.m. ET
5  June 2    Chicago Fire Reserves (PDL) at S.A.C. Wisla of Chicago (USASA)  Redmond Recreational Complex; Bensenville, Ill. - 9 p.m. CT
6  June 2    Cape Cod Crusaders (PDL) at N.Y. Greek American-Atlas (USASA)    St. John's University; Queens, N.Y. - 8 p.m. ET
8  June 2    Milwaukee Bavarians (USASA) at Carolina Dynamo (PDL)    MacPherson Stadium; Browns Summit, N.C. - 7:30 p.m. ET
4  June 8    Legends FC (USASA) at DFW Tornadoes (PDL)                  Pennington Field; Bedford, Texas - 7:30 p.m. CT
7  June 8    Azzurri (USASA) at Cocoa Expos (PDL)                             Cocoa Expo Sports Center, Cocoa, Fla. - 7:30 p.m. ET

Second Round
#   Date        Teams                                                                             Venue; City – Kickoff        
9   June 15    San Diego Gauchos (PSL) at Game 1 Winner             TBD - TBD
10 June 15    Game 2 Winner at Utah Blitzz (PSL)                           Rice-Eccles Stadium; Salt Lake City, Utah - 7:30 p.m. MT
11 June 15    Syracuse Salty Dogs (A-League) at South Jersey Barons    TBD- 6 p.m. ET
    OR Allied S.C. at Syracuse Salty Dogs                                              TBD - 7:30 p.m. ET
12 June 15    Legends FC at Virginia Beach Mariners (A-League)             TBD - 7:30 p.m. ET
    OR DFW Tornadoes vs. Virginia Beach Mariners                                 TBD - TBD
13 June 15    Game 5 Winner at New Hampshire Phantoms (PSL)    So. N.H. University; Manchester, N.H. - 7:30 p.m. ET
14 June 15    Game 6 Winner at Western Mass Pioneers (PSL)        Lusitano Stadium; Ludlow, Mass. - 7:30 p.m. ET
15 June 15    Game 7 Winner at Wilmington Hammerheads (PSL)     Legion Stadium; Wilmington, N.C. - 7:30 p.m. ET
16 June 15    Charlotte Eagles (PSL) at Game 8 Winner                   TBD - TBD

Third Round      June 30           Second round winners vs. Columbus Crew, Dallas Burn, six A-League teams
Fourth Round    July 20            Third round winners vs. remaining eight MLS teams
Quarterfinals     Aug. 4             Fourth round winners
Semifinals        Aug. 24 & 25    Quarterfinal winners
Final                Sept. 22           Semifinal winners

Qualified Teams
MLS (10): Chicago Fire, Colorado Rapids, Columbus Crew, Dallas Burn, D.C. United, Kansas City Wizards, Los Angeles Galaxy, New England Revolution, MetroStars, San Jose Earthquakes
A-League (8): Atlanta Silverbacks, Charleston Battery, Minnesota Thunder, Portland Timbers, Richmond Kickers, Rochester Raging Rhinos, Syracuse Salty Dogs, Virginia Beach Mariners
Pro Soccer League (6): Charlotte Eagles, New Hampshire Phantoms, San Diego Gauchos, Utah Blitzz, Western Mass Pioneers, Wilmington Hammerheads
Premier Development League (8): Boulder Rapids Reserves, Cape Cod Crusaders, Carolina Dynamo, Chicago Fire Reserves, Cocoa Expos, DFW (Dallas-Ft. Worth) Tornadoes, South Jersey Barons, Spokane Shadow
USASA (8): Allied F.C. (Baltimore, Md.; Region I), Azzurri (Dallas, Texas; Region III), Chico Rooks (Calif.; Region IV), Legends FC (Dallas, Texas; Region III), Milwaukee Bavarians (Wisc.; Region II), N.Y. Greek-American-Atlas (N.Y.; Region I), S.A.C. Wisla (Chicago, Ill.; Reg. II), Sacramento Knights (Calif.; Region IV).

– AROUND THE SOCCER WORLD –

FUTSAL FINAL ROUND QUALIFYING DRAW SET FOR TUESDAY: The U.S. Futsal National Team will learn their group position on Tuesday (June 1) when the draw for the CONCACAF Final Qualifying Tournament (being played in Heredia, Costa Rica in July) is held at CONCACAF in New York City. The U.S. earned a spot in the eight-team final round competition after sweeping Honduras in a two game series in May in Milwaukee, Wisc. Host and defending regional champion Costa Rica has been placed in Group A, and Cuba, who has qualified for the previous two World Championships is in Group B. The remaining six nations (Guyana, Mexico, Panama, Surinam, Trinidad & Tobago, and the United States) will be drawn into one of the two groups. The top two teams in the CONCACAF Final Round will qualify for the 2004 FIFA Futsal World Championship being played from Nov. 21 to Dec. 5 in Chinese Tapei. Despite not qualifying for the World Championships in 2000, the U.S. will be looking to make a run for the title after finishing third in the inaugural event in 1989 and second in 1992.

CHICAGO MISL FRANCHISE TO BE UNVEILED THURSDAY: The Major Indoor Soccer League Management Committee has unanimously approved plans for an expansion team to play in Chicago, with MISL Commissioner Steve Ryan announcing that the Chicago team will begin league play in the 2004-2005 season. Further details relating to the Chicago team, including team name, colors and logo, management, head coach, and home venue, will be announced at a press conference scheduled for Thursday (June 3) in Chicago. In February, the league announced plans for an expansion team in Stockton, Calif., that will join the league in the 2005-2006 MISL season, and earlier this month further expansion plans were revealed for a team in Newark, N.J., to begin in 2007. The league is currently made up of eight teams across the United States with a ninth team in Monterrey, Mexico.

*** “CENTER CIRCLE” SPOTLIGHT ***

PEAK PERFORMER: Arguably the most heralded player in the history of the U.S. Men's National Team, Claudio Reyna will make history on Wednesday evening when he appears in his 100th international game for the U.S. As USA's captain during the team's historic 2002 World Cup run in Korea, Reyna's 100th cap comes 10 years and six months after his debut as a 20-year-old University of Virginia student in Phoenix against Norway on Jan. 15, 1994.

MARQUEE MATCH-UP: There are too many big U.S. National Team games to choose from this week for a single marquee match-up, so the honor instead goes to one of the world's greatest World Cup rivalries with Brazil hosting Argentina at Belo Horizonte on Wednesday night (June 3). The match is the first of two between the world soccer powers in their 18-game South American qualifying play. Through five games, Argentina leads the continent with 11 points, while 2002 World Cup champion Brazil is tied for third with 9 points.

SOCCER SHOCKER: The scorelines from Canada for the U-19 Women's World Championship qualifying play were expected to be lopsided, and they were: 14-0, 11-1, 7-0, 6-2, 11-0, etc. However, the USA's ability to spread the scoring around was indeed impressive, with six players scoring multiple goals in two games: Kerri Hanks (6), Kia McNeill (4), Megan Rapinoe (3), Bristyn Davis (2), Rachel Buehler (2) and Yael Averbuch (2).

QUOTABLE:  "There’s something special about being the captain of a team. At first when I was given the captain’s band I was like, ‘Whatever,’ but as games went on and as I grew into that role, I really appreciated that it was an important role. The feeling of being the captain of the U.S. team is incredible.”
 -- Claudio Reyna on growing into his role as captain of the U.S. MNT.

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